Kentucky Derby Primer: Odds, the Favorite, Darkhorses, and a Winning Ticket

KENTUCKY OAKS: Louisville native Cox with favorite for Oaks

WATCH: Monomoy Girl wins the 144th Kentucky Oaks

If you do not follow Horse Racing you may be wondering if you read that title right?

All eyes are on the favorites tipped to steal the show at the prestigious 144th edition of the Kentucky Derby although, based on previous events, there is always the possibility that the race will produce a surprise hero. Those accustomed to the scene call it the "Kentucky Derby Festival". I will go with Justify, Magnum Moon, Hofburg, Bolt d'Oro, and Audible.

Justify hopes to end Baffert's three-year wait on a victory in this race, having won the most recent of his four crowns with American Pharoah in 2015.

The 144th edition of the Derby sees Bob Baffert-trained Justify enter as the favourite, per OddsShark, but Magnum Moon is lurking as one of four contenders trained by two-time victor Todd Pletcher. That has left a wide-open field, with six horses coming in at odds of 12-to-1 or better as of Friday morning. Every little thing counts when breaking down these races. She won the Gulfstream Park Oaks by 1 and a half-length.

The race itself lasts only two minutes and is scheduled for 6:34 p.m.

Hofburg is a horse that Thomas said he likes, describing him as "one of the real talents here".

So it is Justify on top with the four Pletchers - Audible, Magnum Moon, Vino Rosso and Noble Indy - and the Brown, Good Magic off my exacta tickets. With 10 starts, he is the most heavily raced horse in the field. She has 2 stakes wins to her name but has not faced a group this tough before. Only 20 0f the best-thoroughbred race horses are given the honor of competing in the Kentucky Derby. Mendelssohn had the benefit of a strong track bias and a weak field, so I will discount that win and avoid his 4-1 morning line price. She has Calvin Borel aboard who has been known to shock by riding the rails in big races at Churchill.

The chestnut filly has started two 2018 races as the favorite and won both, taking last month's Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland by 5 1/2 lengths after winning the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra by 2 1/2 at Fair Grounds in Louisiana in February. How's he going to deal with a kick-back sandstorm if he doesn't break well?

Trained by Aidan O'Brien in Ireland, Mendelssohn soon validated his hefty price tag when he triumphed in last year's $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf over one mile in Del Mar, California.

"He's a high-quality horse who has got better with every start", Mendelssohn's jockey Moore told the Irish Times after their Dubai win.

Patrona Margarita - 30-1 Morning Line - Another favorite of some fans because it is nearly like a hybrid of something from Harry Potter and a drink.

Anyone looking for a betting guide to the 2018 Kentucky Derby will find plenty of differing opinions on where to place their bets - and a wide-open field where a high-paying long shot could very well come out on top.

"I'm looking for a big effort from her", Cox said of Monomoy Girl.

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